Aurora’s big BEAR ready to join the DNC party

While the Denver Police Department is reluctant to say what security tools and riot toyz it’s stocking in preparation for the Democratic National Convention, eastern neighbor Aurora is as proud as, well, a BEAR, when it comes to talking about the security equipment the city’s police department could deploy this August.

The Aurora Police Department has been open about its Ballistic Engineered Armored Rescue Vehicle since the tank’s arrival in the metro area last fall.

This vehicle is 11 feet tall, 9 feet wide, 23 feet long and weighs in at a respectable 29,000 pounds,” said Lieutenant Sam McGhee, Aurora’s emergency services coordinator. 

Police plan to use the BEAR as a secure, mobile platform to launch rescue missions in dangerous situations. McGhee cited the massacre at Columbine High School as one scenario when the tank could have been effectively employed.

It’s sheer girth could also act as a deterrent for any criminals or would-be criminals thinking of taking on the police. 

Aurora is putting the BEAR, funded by a $315,000 Homeland Security Grant in 2006, front and center as a resource for the entire region.   

“Because this is considered a regional asset within the [Urban Area Security Initiative] and North-Central Region here in Colorado, it would be available to Denver for the Democratic National Convention,” McGhee said.

Weapons companies supplying the DPD with ammunition have also supplied the public with more information than the department when it comes to telling the public what security tools will be on hand at the convention and surrounding protest areas.

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J.C. O'Connell

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